By Chioma Obinagwam
The Lagos State government has commended the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for its role in entrenching the principles of women empowerment and gender equality in its organisation.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, her Excellency, Dr Idiat Adebule, said at the symposium in celebration of the International Women’s Day on the theme: ‘ Unleashing Her Full Potential – advance gender equality and empower women.’
Her Excellency, who is also the keynote speaker said, “women in Nigeria are still under one form of discrimination or the other. Our laws still has provisions that discriminate against women. Our political, business and work environment are deliberately made unconducive for women. Many successful women in the area of politics, business and investment, education, entertainment and the like had to work extra hard to achieve their objectives”.
“Therefore, I wish to urge the business and investment community in Nigeria to utilize every opportunity such as presented by this symposium to seriously do some introspection and come up with useful suggestions to the nation on how to harness the innate capabilities of women by allowing them to flourish just like their male counterpart”. However, to further strengthen its resolve towards women empowerment, Mr. Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer(CEO) at the NSE signed the Women Empowerment Principles where he noted that, “private sector plays an essential and pivotal role in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment all around the world. Until women are treated as equal members of society, politically, economically and socially, our nation won’t reach its full potential”
“At The Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), 33 per cent of our workforce are women and we are committed to improving the figure. I urge all organisations to step it up for gender equality”, Onyema continued.
Moreover, Ms. Tinuade Awe, General Counsel and Head, Regulation, NSE, the main objective of the symposium is to identify key issues, policy options and share learnings on how to create globally relevant, but locally appropriate solutions that can help businesses accelerate the momentum to achieve Sustainable
Development Goal 5 – Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls. She stated that “achieving gender equality is important for workplaces not only because it is fair and the right thing to do, it is also vitally important to the bottom line of a business and to the productivity of our nation.”
Meanwhile, the Exchange also joined other stock exchanges around the world that rang the bell for gender equality to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality to capital markets. The Exchange used its Closing Gong ceremony to highlight the business case for women’s economic empowerment, as well as opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
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Sounding of the Closing Gong of the Exchange, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State said, “As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, I wish to remind us that it’s our primary objective to consistently encourage and celebrate the achievements of women in Lagos and the world at large by stimulating awareness and building knowledge on gender and leadership inclusion”.
“This is a call for the need to give women a chance; recognize their inputs and adequately involve them directly in policy issues that affect them. We hope today’s Closing Gong ceremony for gender equality will speed up the clock for equality in rights and opportunity for Nigerian women,” She added.
The NSE was supported by a global partnership of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and United Nations Women.